Associate Corporation Counsel - Labor & Employment

in Cumberland County, ME

Job Description


The City of Portland’s Office of Corporation Counsel seeks a well-qualified individual with expertise in labor and employment law.  The incumbent will work on a wide range of personnel matters across a variety of City departments. 

Duties will include, but will not be limited to: (1) working collaboratively with other attorneys, City staff, and City leadership to analyze labor and employment issues and resolve disputes; (2) advising City investigators and Department heads on employee-misconduct, due process, and related grievances, including advising on police-officer investigations and discipline; (3) representing the City in administrative hearings, alternative dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration, etc.) to resolve labor and/or employment disputes; (4) drafting and reviewing personnel policies, departmental operating procedures, opinions, legislation, contracts and other legal documents that require the application of labor law and/or employment law; and (5) participating in and advising on the legal aspects of labor and contract negotiations.  The incumbent will receive general supervision from Corporation Counsel.  Corporation Counsel may assign the selected attorney to new, additional or different duties or practice areas in litigation, advice, or transactional work. 

About the Office - The Office of Corporation Counsel provides advice and counsel to the Mayor, City Council, and all City departments, boards and commissions in a wide variety of areas including land use, real estate, personnel, elections, conflicts of interest, municipal finance, retirement, housing, public contracting and economic development.  The Office of Corporation Counsel also advocates for the City’s interests in claims and lawsuits litigated in state or federal court, complex civil rights actions, breach of contract, personnel disputes, eminent domain actions, and alleged Constitutional violations.  The work is high profile, dynamic, collaborative, and complex.  And the work is of vital importance to the City’s realization of its progressive policies and programs, and to the City’s delivery of services to Portland’s residents and businesses. 

Job Duties - Duties may include but are not limited to:  Performing legal research, interpreting and applying laws and court decisions.  Researches and writes standard operating procedures and policies in collaboration with the relevant department and Human Resources.  Preparing opinions for departments, programs, boards, commissions and officials.  Advising assigned clients within the City on personnel matters. Such matters may include but are not limited to: compliance with labor laws and policies, internal investigations and employee discipline, employee or union grievances, identifying and managing risks associated with personnel decisions.  Preparing, reviewing and revising legal opinions, ordinances, resolutions, employment contracts, MOU's, settlements and other legal documents; revising such documents as necessary to meet legal standards.  Advising on investigations of labor and employment claims and complaints against the City and recommending actions to be taken.   Preparing cases for hearings, administrative proceedings including labor arbitration hearings, alternative dispute resolution, hearings before the Maine Human Rights Commission, and court proceedings.  Advising the City Manager, Director of Human Resources, Labor Relations Manager, and other labor negotiators in preparation for and during labor-contract bargaining and other labor negotiations.  Developing training materials and providing training to staff on relevant legal issues.  Providing legal advice on employee-misconduct investigations and related grievances, including investigations by the Internal Affairs Division of the Portland Police Department, and drafting discipline decisions. 

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATION - Any combination of experience and education that likely would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:  Experience:  Four years of increasingly responsible work experience in one or more relevant areas of law.  The ideal candidate will be experienced in one or more of the following: litigating and/or advising on state and federal laws related to employee protection and safety; workplace investigations and employee due-process; and labor bargaining and dispute resolution.  Candidates must have excellent writing and oral presentation skills.  Domestic violence, criminal and civil proceedings practice preferred.  Education:  Graduate of an accredited law school.  License or Certificate:  A member in good standing of the Maine State Bar.   Additional Desirable Skills:  Working knowledge of municipal, state and federal laws affecting City governance, particularly laws related to open meetings and public records.   Ability to:  Interpret and apply various government codes and ordinances.  Conduct research on legal problems and prepare sound legal opinions.  Analyze and prepare a wide variety of legal documents.  Present cases in court or administrative proceedings.  Handle stressful and sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy.  Provide professional leadership, guidance and technical expertise to assigned staff.  Work independently or as part of a team.  Form or work with a multidisciplinary team.  Manage multiple demanding programs, cases and projects with competing deadlines.  Communicate effectively in both oral and written form with City officials, representatives of outside agencies and the public, and in litigation.   Complete varied assignments within a narrow time frame.  Establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients and other contacts in the course of work.  Inspire confidence and respect for legal advice.  Skillfully and professionally present legal advice to clients, including the elected and high-level appointed officials.  Ability to analyze legal documents and instruments.  Knowledge of the US Department of Justice consent decrees and best practices for police departments.  Offers of employment are contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background check. 

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Job Posting: 797598

Posted On: Aug 07, 2022

Updated On: Sep 06, 2022